Brain Res. 2016 Oct 28;:
Physical exercise can induce brain plasticity and reduce the cognitive decline observed in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). We investigated the effects of physical exercise to prevent or reverse spatial memory deficits produced by diabetes and some biochemical and immunohistochemical changes in hippocampal astrocytes of T1DM model. In this study, 56 male Wistar rats were divided in four groups: trained control (TC), non-trained control (NTC), trained diabetic (TD) and non-trained diabetic (NTD). 27 days after streptozotocin-induced (STZ) diabetes, the exercise groups were submitted to 5 weeks of aerobic exercise. All groups were assessed in place recognition (PR) test before and after training. The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive astrocytes were evaluated using planar morphology, optical densitometry and Sholl's concentric circles method. Glucose and glutamate uptake, reduced glutathione (GSH) and glutamine synthetase (GS) levels were measured using biochemical assays. Our main results are: 1-Exercise reverses spatial memory impairments generated by T1DM; 2-Exercise increases GSH and GS in TC but not in TD rats; 3-Exercise increases density of GFAP positive astrocytes in the TC and TD groups and increases astrocytic ramification in TD animals. Our findings indicate that physical exercise reverses the cognitive deficits present in T1DM and induces important biochemical and immunohistochemical astrocytic changes.